Saturday, March 21, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015 - Dogs & Vultures Distro

Raw noisy distorted madness. That's the most apt description I could find for our next spotlight - Dogs & Vultures Distro.
Dogs & Vultures is a Dublin based DIY punk distro and label. They've been in operation for a little over a year, and already their back catalogue is looking impressive.

Earlier this year they released the self-titled album by Burnchurch that has been labelled as an album of the year contender. Burnchurch are a hardcore punk band featuring members of Easpa Masa, Rats Blood and Silence. Heartfelt, raucous and heavy is how I would describe Burnchurch, definitely worth a listen.

The band Gaze are another gem in the Dogs & Vultures catalogue. This quartet play d-beat infused hardcore, and feature members of Twisted Mass and Fag Enablerz. They're great!

No only will Dogs & Vultures bring stock from all the deadly acts they have released over the past year., they are also bring lots of 2nd hand LPs, 7 inches, cds. So their whole stock will be there on the day, along with a cheap box of 12"/7"/CDs/zines/patches/whatever they can find lying around. You can't really ask for much more than that, sounds savage!

Dogs & Vultures have recently celebrated their first birthday. Congratulations to all, we need more distros like this in Ireland.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Fooste Revolving

In the melting pot of creativity that is Independents Day, the work of Fooste Revolving to me stands out as being one of the most unique acts of the day (and that is saying something)!

Fooste Revolving AKA Mac the Crouton AKA Ciarán from Leitrim works in various forms. He makes zines. He acts. He makes field recording. He makes installations. He records nature. He goes to Kurdistan and records protests during the Arab Spring.

While I  have yet to see Fooste Revolving's zines, I've been enjoying listening to his field recordings and sound art.  He has been experimenting "working with drones; minimal and darker ambient sounds; fuzz and harsh noises; nature & environmental sounds and old home audio tapes found in charity shops".

His recordings of the protests at the University of Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, in 2011 are particularly interesting. Fooste/Mac/Ciaran was there during the Arab Spring. After the army, the Peshmerga, opened fire into a crowd killing seven civilians, students invited Ciarán to protest, and he have several sound recordings of it on his sound cloud page.

Apart from sound recordings, Ciarán has made instruments and installations at the Hunter's Moon festival, the festival run by those other Independents day favorites Woven Skull

I really can't wait to see what Fooste Revolving bring to Independents Day. You can bet it will be interesting anyway.

Artist Spotlight 2015 - Shelky Bean

 "I like creating mild controversy. And making things that I want to make. And it's great to have Independents Day as an excuse to make things that would otherwise probably remain in my notebook as scribbles, or wispy thoughts in my head".

YES to all of that! 

So we enter into the realm of a truly unique artist, the brilliant Shelky Bean. In the above quote Shelky was referring to her handmade birds (THE BIRDS) that she has made for independents day, and how some people might be tittering about them from a safe distance away. Rather than people sniggering at them, I think they will be one of the 'must have' items on the day. I love the idea of a room full of people walking around the co-op with bird rings. Lets make this happen!!

When she is not making birds, Shelky is also an accomplished painter, illustrator and artist. She has a whole range of amazing things for sale on her website, Duvet cases, iPhone covers and art prints to name but a few.

Shelky said she got into zines cause she "loves the scene that revolves around the creation of these little publications, and how it is so inclusive and diverse". I couldn't agree with you more, and I can't wait to see what "little publications" Shelky brings to the Co-op on Sunday!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015 - Workshop on radical feminism & DIY culture by clementina veganfeminist

Aside from Sunday being an event supporting the independent publishing, film and music scenes, we will also have have workshops on during the day.
Once such workshop I can't wait for is by clementina veganfeminist (lower case on request).

clementina describes herself as an "autistic vegan straight edge feminist & anarchist, who spends her time making zines (mainly about issues such as eating disorders, intimate partner violence ,& my thoughts & dreams for intersectional liberation)". She will be facilitating a workshop on radical feminism and DIY culture, exploring issues through the medium of zines. 

The workshop will be an actual, practical skill  share in making zines! So people will make physical zines at the workshop (yes!). Zines will be made as an exploration of riot grrrl values and their relevance for feminism today, and as an examination of the revolutionary possibilities of DIY culture.

Though I haven't been to clementina's work shop before, she did help us out for a day in the Forgotten Zine Archive last year, and you wont find a more passionate person about zines. The workshop should be great.

It will run from 1:30-2:30 on Sunday, and will be amazing.  Get down early for this, it will be brilliant.

Accessibility to the Co-op

For anyone who hasn't been to the Co-op, or is wondering about how accessible the food co-op as a venue is, there are ramps for access to the main hall and into the exhibition space within it. If you have any access or any facility related issues, please let the person at the front desk know and they will try their best to assist any requests made!

Also, as always, we want we Independents Day to be a positive, inclusive space for creativity, artistic development, constructive thinking to happen! We also want it to be great craic.

If this has not been the case for you during the day, let one of the front desk people know and we will endeavor to help!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Acts playing throughout the day - Zoe and Danae, Anna Mieke and Brían, Xhepa, Seth Elton, Dowth and Cal Folger Day

 Before the bands at the Independents Day Afterparty blow the roof off Tenterhooks, there will be another load of acts playing throughout the day that are definitely worth checking out.

First up we have Jona Xhepa, an artist who works across a host of different mediums. Aside from having a stall selling zines at Independents day, Jona will also be playing folk guitar and sing ballad/jazzy tunes at the event. She also runs a comedy improv/storytelling night called Chronic Jazz. Jona was a great help on the Sunday of the Dublin Zine Fair last year, so looking forward to hearing her tunes (and reading her zines)

Seth Elton just released an EP in December called 13 O'Clock. Seth's influences range from Jazz to Hip Hop to Rock to Blues and back again. It reminds me a bit of Bon Iver or Tim Buckley. I think the Co-op on a lazy Sunday afternoon will be a great place to hear Seth, should be great.

Dowth released their debut song 'Wickerman' last October and it is savage. The band features Tim Ording (Melodica Deathship) on Melodica and Beat Production and John Kelleher (Rats Blood, Burnchurch) on Fiddle. Their video features a sample of visuals from their live set,  it looks incredible. This will be dark, brooding and not to be missed.

Finally we have a jazz chanteuse/chapbook maker/orchestra maestro/former league of Ireland football player (ok so I made that last one up) the brilliant Cal Folger Day. Cal will be singing, playing guitar and selling chapbooks on the day and if her EP's  Adornament (2015) and
Drom-d’reau (2013) are anything to go by, it should be a great show!


There's a few more bands playing throughout the day on Sunday that I would like to give a mention to.
Zoe and Danae will be playing a slot around 1.45. Haven't heard what they sound like, i'm sure they are class though.

And finlly Anna Mieke and Brían. Havent heard the two of them together,  but Brían and his brother Diarmuid play in the band Ye Vagabonds. They play regularly in and around Stoneybatter, in  Walshe’s in Dublin. They sound a bit like Planxty, so looking forward to hearing he and Anna play!

For the set times, check out yet ANOTHER savage poster by Leigh Arthur. This will be some day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: The Forgotton Zine Archive

Today's artist spotlight is more of a spotlight on the works of various original zinesters, the Forgotten Zine Archive.

The Forgotten Zine Archive was started 11 years ago (eleven)!! I love its history.  It was created by Irish zinester, Ciarán Walsh, when himself and 3 friends recognised that the needs of certain members of maginalised groups were not being catered to, and out of a desire to support the independent publishing scene in Dublin, they formed their own archive, and ran it out of a warehouse space using their own personal collections. Made up of around 1200 zines, it was initially opened for a few hours every Sunday, but when the warehouse closed in 2005, the archive moved to Seomra Spraoi, and has moved with Seomra to various locations around the city. The zine archive’s primary role has been as a curated memory institution within which Irish zines could be both preserved, and made available to the public. It has survived by picking up donations and existing in various states of care and neglect, and  its contents now stand at around 2000 items – including many non-English and internationally published items.

Shortly after finding a new home in Seomra, the collection was brought to Italy as part of Sarah Pierce's Monk's Garden Project at that year’s Venice Biennale and then on to a follow-up show at Cork’s Glucksman Gallery in 2006. Later that year the archive was involved in a number of small-scale exhibitions at Docklands City Cycle and in Pride Dublin. Ciarán Walsh and Anto Dillon of Loserdom organised an exhibition called "Zine Show – A celebration of Zines and Do-It-Yourself publishing in the form of an exhibition of zines/zine art (both Irish and international)." The exhibition was a collection of covers from the Forgotten Zine Archive, which were displayed along the wall of a Dublin bookstore, and attendees were given freesheets and handouts to take home. That exhibition could almost be viewed as a precursor to Independents Day, as it featured a range of activities from people involved in the local zine/underground scene, which included readings by local zinesters and acoustic music. 

There was a great buzz about the zine archive at the time, but a combination of exhibition funding drying up and those involved with the archive moving away meant that it quickly fell on hard times later the next year. It essentially went into cold storage.

Three years ago a group of librarians took it out of storage, classified and catalogued it. We quickly formed an alliance with another group set up in Dublin - the Dublin Zine Collective (formerly Eddie Pie Hands Printing) and have been trying to foster the independent publishing scene through various activities, such as workshops, meet-ups and an exhibition in the Centre for Creative Practices, at the Dublin Zine Fair last year.

The Forgotten Zine Archive is the only independent, dedicated zine archive in the country. Zines are items of ephemera, they are not created with long-term storage in mind. The fact that the archive has survived for 11 years is remarkable.  It survives on donations. Ultimately we would like to be a repository for physical zines made in Ireland. So if anyone has any zines they would like to donate, either get in touch with Tom Maher or me, or drop down to Independents Day, where will will have a stall selling zines, and the archive will be on display for people to browse through.

The zine archive is more than just a collection of zines. It is an archive of print and DIY culture in Ireland, dating back to the 1970's. A lot of what is written about in zines is not being covered else where. By making and distributing zines, the zine community is creating its own historical records, and that is why it's important to archive zines, least this history would be forgotten.

Today the Forgotten Zine Archive exists as a space to empower the disenfranchised, and as a platform for lending their voices extra weight. While individually the content within zines speaks for itself, when these forgotten zines are brought together, it amplifies their voices all the more.That's the role of any memory institution worth it's salt, and that role is a vital one.

God save the zine!!

(You can read more about the work of the forgotten zine archive in various blog posts, academic journal articles or on our twitter of Facebook pages. Sound!)